The Phoenix Islands Protected Area is a unique partnership between the Government of Kiribati, non-governmental conservation organizations, and regional governments. Kiribati is encouraged by the emergence of significant partners in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). This support has increased the momentum of the project and increased awareness of the global importance of this major conservation initiative.
In 2000 the New England Aquarium (NEAq) led its first expedition to the Phoenix Islands to survey the coral reef ecosystems. Subsequent expeditions and meetings with the government of Kiribati led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NEAq, Kiribati, and Conservation International (CI) in 2005, which is still in effect today.
Working in support of the government of Kiribati, NEAq has been instrumental in the development of PIPA through funding support, biological monitoring, and legal and technical advice. NEAq has produced the film Paradise Found and book Underwater Eden on PIPA, and makes various in-kind contributions to this work through NEAq’s many departments.
CI’s Global Conservation Fund is the lead donor in supporting the design and establishment of the PIPA, beginning with a seed grant in 2004. In addition, CI’s Pacific Islands Programme, based in Samoa, has provided critical technical support and policy advice. More recently, the Global Marine Program at CI has played an increasingly significant role.
The government of Kiribati is the legal body declaring the protected area in their sovereign territory. Kiribati also administers the cabinet approved PIPA inter-ministerial steering committee under the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD). Kiribati is ultimately responsible for all aspects of PIPA, but is assisted by many partners and collaborators, including those listed on this page.